TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Thanks to this warmer weather and abundance of trees in East Texas, just like you and me our pets experience allergies.
They may show their symptoms differently than humans do, like shaking their head, itching and biting their feet. Other symptoms to look for are red inflamed skin, excessive shedding, compulsive paw licking, red waxy ears or respiratory issues.
“Bring them in as soon as you start to see those symptoms and it’s way easier to reverse things than to wait until you know there is hair loss and infection in the skin,” said Dr. Seth Shirey, owner and veterinarian at Rose City Animal Clinic.
Seasonal allergies can be brought on by factors like tree and grass pollen, dust and dust mites, mold and mold mites, flea bites and fresh grass.
Donice Jones lives in Flint and has been around animals for years. She said her “grandpup” had allergies in the past, and she currently has two dogs that she takes to the dog park almost daily.
“They are only 10 months old and they haven’t shown any signs of allergies yet, I hope they don’t get allergies because I hear it’s very expensive to treat,” Jones said.
Shirey said there are low cost over-the-counter anti-histamines you can try first at home, like Benadryl. Dosage depends on your animal’s needs and weight, and it is best to check with your veterinarian before giving your pet a medication.
“We reach for steroids quite a bit because they are very cheap, they are extremely effective and if used appropriately are really safe as well,” Shirey said.
Keeping your pets away from the things that trigger their allergies can help, but sometimes that’s hard– especially with dogs who like to be outside running around and playing.
“I hate to be frank, it is very hard to treat allergies long term in an inexpensive way,” Shirey said.
Shirey said many pet owners try giving their four-legged friends baths regularly to help, but he wouldn’t recommend that.
“When you bathe them, you’re also taking and stripping away some of the oils on the skin that help create a barrier,” Shirey said.
He added that allergies can be frustrating and hard to treat, but your veterinarian is here to help. With the right treatment and prevention measures, you can help your pet get through their allergies every year.
Rose City Animal Clinic, formally Starnes Animal Clinic, will be having their grand opening Friday March 3 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. with a ribbon cutting, and they will be offering tours of their new facility.